More than 200 swimmers, their coaches and families attended the 2016 Medal Meet at the Hawthorne Swimming Pool. This was the first time in six years that the important final meet of the year had been held in Hawthorne.

According to Kathy Trujillo, Coordinator/Coach for the Hawthorne Stingrays, “this was the best executed meet to date . . .thanks to plenty of volunteers, life guards and enthusiastic swimmers.” Hawthorne swimmers took home gold, silver and bronze medals in several competitions.

“Next year I really want to be sure we have young swimmers on our team,” Trujillo said. “8-year olds and under are important to the future of competitive swimming in our community.”

Ginger Pritchard represented Hawthorne in the girls 7-8 and new swimmer Megan Dragon did well in the girls 9-10 age group.

The 11-12 year old category is filled with many girls, but Hawthorne’s lone male swimmer, Andre White, took silver in the breaststroke, fourth in the butterfly and third in the backstroke. Sofia Castillo Trujillo brought home the silver in the highly competitive 11-12 year old category for butterfly with multiple heats and 21 participants. Sofia also won the bronze in the backstroke and in the individual medley. Of those 11-12 year olds Hawthorne’s team included Ryann Nelms; Allijah Dancer; Arianna MacPherson; Farrah Bryant; Jovie Riccio and Naliyah Jenkins. Jenkins brought home the bronze in the freestlye.

Ethan Nelms joined the team late in the season but was able to bring home the gold in the butterfly, freestyle, the individual medley and the silver in the backstroke. Miles King won a silver in the butterfly, freestyle, IM and took gold in the backstroke. David Robinson Nichols won the bronze in the backstroke (and took home the bronze in the freestyle competition) with Peyton Isom placing fourth. Isom took home the silver in the breast stroke followed by his Hawthorne team mates. Dalton McNeff of Lovelock won the breaststroke competition with a time of 54.61. Rounding out the 13-14 girls was Madisyn Carlson and Erika Lightfoot. Madisyn won the silver in the backstroke and came in close in the freestyle competition.

In the 15-18 boys competition, Michael Wadlow brought home the gold in the breaststroke, the silver in the butterfly followed closely with a fourth place by Hawthorne swimmer Tyler Arson. Arson won his first gold medal in the 50-meter backstroke followed closed with bronze medal winner Michael Wadlow. Wadlow won second in the individual medley and was followed by Damien Montoya and Tyler Arson. Montoya brought home the bronze medal in the 50-meter freestyle competition. Madeline Bennett and Trinity Mitchell represented Hawthorne well in all events. Bennett won the gold in the 100-meter individual medley; the gold in the breaststroke; took second in butterfly; backstroke and freestyle . Mitchell took third in the butterfly and fourth in backstroke.

Coach Jim Bennett worked hard all season with the athletes building up endurance and refining strokes. Assistants Gay Ann Williams, Oya Bryant and Tina Nelms helped get many of the younger swimmers ready for competition by working on dives and techniques.

The day of the meet welcomed many volunteer timers; ready bench coordinators; starters; ribbon writers; computer operators; timing rounders; runners;announcers; etc. “Everyone’s efforts are appreciated as it takes dozens of volunteers for the meet to run smooth,” stated Trujillo. Thanks to our donors: The Kenny Bostic Memorial Youth Athletic Fund, Financial Horizons Credit Union and the staff at the swimming pool for their assistance.

Next year it is hoped to include a strong team from Round Mountain and another from Tonopah to increase the competitiveness. Youth in the community are reminded to practice for the rest of the summer and join the Stingray Swim Team next May. “We promise we will get them competition ready as quickly as possible and that we can work around other sports schedules,” concluded Trujillo.